You may describe your newborn baby as a baby snacker. He eats for a few or five minutes and then the baby closes eyes while eating or breastfeeding.
Indeed, your little champ wants to suck milk all day long instead of taking a feed every few hours. And it makes you worry as he has never had a full feed. Therefore, you let your baby come out form a bad habit of frequent feedings and short periods of sleep.
The frequent feeding also takes your time and doesn’t leave a single sphere of time for other life-like activities. Also, it badly harms your health, which forces you to ask this question- how to stop your baby from snacking on the breast?
To learn the answer to this question, continue to read to stop your baby from snacking on your breast.
Is It Normal For My Newborn To Snack On The Breast?
Yes, it’s normal for your newborn baby to snack on the breast. When your baby reaches 4 months of age, he starts acting like this. Most people call this stage of your baby a 4-month sleep regression or wakefulness. Your baby starts discovering that a world exists past 18 inches.
Before this, your baby was only able to see a caretaker that was close to his face. Now, he can see the dog run past, a sparkling light on the rug, the sunray that comes through the window, and more. All these are so fascinating to your baby. He has no time to eat while discovering the world surrounding him.
In this stage, most babies sort of reverse cycle. They forget to eat or snack on the breast. As the baby remains hungry in the daytime, your baby wants to breastfeed constantly at night.
How To Stop Your Baby From Snacking On The Breast?
If you don’t know how to stop baby snack feeding at night, try to take him into a darkened room in the daytime. Then, lay and sit skin to skin. Next, try to get him to have a good feed during the day. It stops your baby from snacking on your breast at night and reduces night waking.
Here are 5 simple yet effective ways to stop your newborn baby from snacking on the breast.
01. Don’t Let Your Baby Sleep During Feeding
Never let your baby fall asleep when you feed him. If you help your baby to form this habit, you will suffer in the long run. Every time you try to feed a full meal, your baby falls asleep with an empty stomach. Consequently, he wakes up frequently, and you need to feed your child frequently.
That’s why we recommend you irritate your child while feeding him. Tickle her palms or neck, gently strike on the cheek, and make sure you don’t let her be too warm and cozy. Besides, during breastfeeding, you should eye contact with your baby.
The goal is here to let your baby concentrate on hand and take a full feed, rather than dropping off. Afterward, don’t feed your baby for 3 hours. It will make your baby hungry and take another full feed.
02. Feed Your Baby In A Quiet Place
At 4 months of age, your baby gets distracted easily mid-feed. As we mentioned above, your baby starts exploring the surrounding world. Everything around him will fascinate your baby and distract him from breastfeeding. So, it would be best to take the baby to a quiet place or in a dark room where nothing will take your baby’s attention.
03. Feed When She/He Wake Up
Breastfeed your baby every time he wakes up. Then, keep your baby busy by letting him play until nap time comes. When nap time comes, your baby will fall asleep. And feeds your baby again when he awakes. Maintain this cycle to stop your baby from sleeping at mid-feed.
04. Entertain Your Newborn Baby
Feed your baby whenever he gets hungry. We want you to breastfeed your baby on demand without maintaining any schedule. But sometimes it will be better to break the routine by keeping your baby entertained. Make a list of the fun activities that your baby loves to do like crawling on your new mattress or carrying him around your house. Moreover, you can make your baby’s mattress softer for singing lullaby and entertain him/her.
05. Stop Comparing Your Baby With Others
Never compare your baby with other babies. All babies have different choices and different habits. Some of them may eat and feed during a long hour of stretching. Some of them are struggling to find their rhythm. So, respect your child’s habits and be patient to find his own beat.
06. Use a comfortable mattress for your baby:
No matter whether you are using a crib or a normal mattress for your baby, make sure it would be a nice place to sleep or rest. So, your baby will love a soft mattress and won’t give you hard time always by snacking on the breast.
07. Change the diaper:
Changing diapers, especially before feeding will give you a less hard time. Because, oftentimes, your baby becomes annoyed if you are not changing the diaper. Turns out, your baby will disturb you during nursing or feeding.
What Are The Negative Impacts Of Snacking?
Although snacking is actually a phenomenon that can be seen to be related to almost all babies, it has several negative impacts on the baby and the mother. Let’s see the major 2 bad effects of snacking:
- Disturbed Metabolism:
If you fail to feed your baby at its designated feeding time, and instead, have to keep feeding it irregularly throughout the whole 24-hour cycle, it leaves massive negative impacts on the baby’s metabolism.
How is that? The baby will not develop routine metabolic digestion abilities. As a result, it will take longer for the baby to cope with other foods.
Also, since the baby’s food cycle is completely disrupted by snacking, it will leave the baby very irritated. Therefore, it will cause the baby to be very impulsive and erratic.
- Disruption Of The Sleep Cycle:
Because snacking disturbs the metabolic cycle of the baby, in turn, it also disrupts the sleeping cycle. That’s why most babies, who are shown to have snacking habits, suffer from irregular sleeping habits all the time.
To think of it in a simple way, a baby has only 2 activities to do in its each day cycle: eat and sleep. Now, if the baby is eating (snacking) all day long, it won’t have the designated allotted time for its sleep. As a result, the baby will not be able to have healthy growth.
- Suffering For The Mom:
If a baby does not sleep at night, so does not the mom. That’s why it’s important that the baby is not snacking all the time. Also, if the baby is always crying and showing erratic behavior, this gets on the mom’s nerve. In turn, the mom develops extreme levels of stress in her daily cycle.
Plus, research has shown that those moms whose babies have a snacking habit suffer from high levels of stress. Also, these moms have proven to have very little sleep in their 24-hour cycle.
So, it’s safe to say that the baby’s snacking habit leaves the mom suffering all the time. Mind you, snacking not only makes the baby suffer but also turns the mom’s day cycle into a mess.
How To Make Bottle-Feeding Easy For The Baby?
While many people ask the question “how to stop your baby from snacking on the breast?”, no one really cares to know how bottle feeding can be made easy for the baby. This would be fun when you bring toy bottles for feeding.
But, one has to realize that for the baby to leave the snacking habit, bottle-feeding must be made easy for it. That’s why we have brought 3 major bottle feeding tips that will make bottle feeding much easier for your baby to cope with:
- Always Bottle-Feeding Your Baby On Your Lap:
You need to understand that your baby can actively feel the warmth of your body when you are holding it. As a result, it feels relaxed in whatever it’s doing. That’s why we recommend you make a 3oz bottle of formula, 6 oz scoops formula for your baby, and then you need to hold him in your lap.
Bottle feeding your baby in your lap will encourage it to think that it’s actually drinking from your breast. Also, it will make the baby stay fully calm during the whole feeding process.
So, rather than keeping your baby on a rocking bed or something, remember to keep your baby close to your body while feeding on the bottle.
2. Make The Bottle Ring Easier To Sip From:
Another thing worth mentioning (in the process of bottle feeding) is the ease of sipping the milk. You need to understand that sipping milk from your breast is an easy process for the baby.
That’s why it doesn’t need to “learn” to sip from your breast (the baby can just start feeding on your breasts the moment it’s born).
Because of this, if you don’t make bottle sipping easier for the baby, it will not accept the bottle feeding habit.
Therefore, when you are bottle-feeding your baby, we recommend keeping the ring of the bottle not in a tight position so that the baby can easily sip in as much milk as it needs. That, in turn, will make sure that the baby is not hostile to bottle feeding.
3. Bottle Feed In The Right Environment:
Although many people don’t give it much priority, feeding in the baby’s native room actually gives it an extra sense of calmness. From the moment the baby is born, it gets accustomed to the room you keep it in for the most amount of time (the baby’s native room).
Remember, the baby will relatively stay much more calm being in its own room rather than being in any other place.
That is why we recommend keeping your baby in its room the whole time you bottle feed it. Bottle feeding the baby in an environment that is foreign to the baby might upset it or increase its stress level.
As a result, it might not want to drink from the bottle. But, not to worry, one can ultimately feed the baby in a foreign environment once the baby is fully accustomed to bottle feeding. So, it’s not a permanent thing that you should follow.
How Many Hours Does Cluster Feeding Last?
Cluster feeding means you should feed your baby several times in the evening between 10-15 minutes at a time for 2-3 hours.
Is It Normal For My Newborn To Eat Every Hour?
Yes, it’s normal. You should feed your newborn baby 8 to 12 times in 24 hours. Indeed, some of the babies require feeding every 3 hours or every 2 hours. Some newborns may need to breastfeed every 10 minutes in an hour.
How to get a baby to take full feeding?
Take your baby to a quiet and darkroom where nothing can distract or grab the attention of your baby from feeding. If your baby gets asleep before a full feed, keep him awake by striking on her cheek gently.
How to stop baby snack feeding at night?
Encourage your baby to take as much milk as he or she can take. Don’t let him sleep before the full feed. And of course, don’t force your baby to take more milk by going beyond his willingness.
It’s normal for a newborn baby, especially when he reaches 4-month age. He starts exploring his surrounding world and gets distracted when breastfeeding.
The best way to stop your baby from snacking on the breast is- take him to a quiet and darkened room and encourage your baby to take a full feed.
If you have any questions in your mind related to this topic, let us know by leaving a comment below.